This is a biggish week compared to the rest of the month... I've also got two reviews coming for a couple of these....
The Eighth Court by Mike Shevdon
Years ago I did one of my early reviews of Mike's first real history inspired urban fantasy pulling from Britian's rich fae traditions. He presented characters that we both grounded and real yet very magical and complex. The series now has three books with The Eightfold Court coming out. Here is a link to Argry Robot Books website where you can find an exerpt. And though it tells you little here is the synopsis...
The Eighth Court has been established, but petty rivalries and old disputes threaten its stability. The mongrels that make up the court are not helping, and Blackbird enlists the help of the warders to keep the peace.
Has Blackbird bitten off more than she can chew, and can the uneasy peace between the courts continue under such tension and rivalry?
Ghost Spin by Chris Moriarty
Since I write this so often I think I need to start keeping a " I really need to read this girl/guy's work" list. I recall having paid attention to the fact that Chris won the P.K. Dick award and I tend to really enjoy the books that that panel tends to pick both for their short list and the overall winners. I now next to nothing other then the coming synopsis so I'll let it speak for itself...
The Age of Man is ending. The UN’s sprawling interstellar empire is failing as its quantum teleportation network collapses, turning once-viable colonies into doomed island outposts. Humanity’s only hope of survival is the Drift: a mysterious region of space where faster-than-light travel—or something far stranger—seems possible. As mercenaries and pirates flock to the Drift, the cold war between the human-led UN and the clone-dominated Syndicates heats up. Whoever controls the Drift will chart the future course of human evolution—and no one wants to be left behind in a universe where the price of failure is extinction.
Fearsome Journeys edited by Jonathan Strahan
This is the fantasy companion to the Solaris Rising anthology of original science fiction. I for one really look forward to seeing the mini epics that these storytellers can come up with and how it may just relate to their novels. This one has so many of my current favorites including: Saladin Ahmed, Elizabeth Bear, Daniel Abraham and a new Coral Sword story from Jeffrey Ford. You can go here to see the full table of contents and get a hint as to the offerings; personally I like getting the fun little sword and sorcery gems that come from books like this.
Life on the Preservation Jack Skillingstead
Here is another list I could start to keep the "I know this author for their free short stories I read or heard via podcast". Jack here falls into the podcast category and I recall liking his sense of the odd or offbeat. Here is the synopsis from Solaris Books:
Inside the Seattle Preservation Dome it’s always the Fifth of October, the city caught in an endless time loop. ‘Reformed’ graffiti artist Ian Palmer is the only one who knows the truth, and he is desperate to wake up the rest of the city before the alien Curator of the human museum erases Ian’s identity forever. Outside the Dome, the world lies in apocalyptic ruin.
Small town teenager Kylie is the only survivor to escape both the initial shock wave and the effects of the poison rains that follow. Now she must make her way across the lasted lands pursued by a mad priest and menaced by skin-and-bone things that might once have been human. Her destination is the Preservation, and her mission is t o destroy it. But once inside, she meets Ian, and together they discover that Preservation reality is even stranger than it already appears.
Any Other Name Emma Newman
Emma has been leaking out tidbits of this world (The Split Worlds) for a couple of months or at least weeks in preparation for this volume to come out. Here is a link where you can read an exerpt of this novel. I have an ARC that I hope to get through and have a review out for this one next week on the heels of the two urban fantasy reviews I have for you this week. Here is a bit of synopsis from Angry Robot Books....
It’s been an interesting year…
Cat has been forced into an arranged marriage with William – a situation that comes with far more strings than even she could have anticipated, especially when she learns of his family’s intentions for them both.
Meanwhile, Max and the gargoyle investigate The Agency – a mysterious organisation that appears to play by its own rules – and none of them favourable to Society.
Over in Mundanus, Sam has discovered something very peculiar about his wife’s employer – something that could herald a change for everyone in both sides of the Split Worlds.
The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig
Ok here is the other Chuck Wendig book I mentioned earlier this month. This one I have a review brewing for and I will say I quite loved the book in short. This is the kind of urban fantasy that borrows from the noir crime fiction tradition much like one of my favorite UF reads of last year City of the Lost. Here is a link to a bit of exerpt from Angry Robot (you have to scroll down a bit to see the exerpt.
The world Chuck envisions is pretty twisted but its so compelling, I want to write more and more about it here but I'll keep that for the review... Here is a brief synopsis
Meet Mookie Pearl.
Criminal underworld? He runs in it.
Supernatural underworld? He hunts in it.
Nothing stops Mookie when he’s on the job.
But when his daughter takes up arms and opposes him, something’s gotta give…
The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty
Mur is another one of the writers I now of from the world of podcasting; she has been doing free speculative fiction for as long as just about anyone so its absolutely fabulous she finally has a big publisher contract. This urban fantasy is some thing completely different, you can hear herself reading the book for free from her website here and fans of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett should really take a peek here because Mur has that kind of approach to humor.... Oh and this is the other books that will get the review treatment this week....